NEW YORK, Feb 5, 2016:

Symantec Corp, best known for its Norton antivirus software, said Silver Lake Partners had invested US$500 million (RM2.06 billion) in the company and that the private equity firm would get a board seat.

Symantec also announced a US$2.3 billion share buyback and declared a special dividend of US$4 per share, which would total to a payout of about US$2.7 billion.

The share buyback and special dividend takes Symantec’s total capital return program to US$5.5 billion, which it expects to complete by March 2017.

Symantec, whose shares were up 9.5% at US$21 in extended trading yesterday, also reported better-than-expected revenue and profit for the third quarter.

Silver Lake will buy US$500 million worth of Symantec’s unsecured convertible notes. The firm’s managing partner, Ken Hao, will join Symantec’s board.

“Now that Silver Lake is behind Symantec there is a hope that they’ll make the right decisions moving forward for a company which has made a lot of bad decisions over the last decade,” FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives said.

Symantec has been facing headwinds as slowing sales of personal computers hurt demand for its security software, which comes bundled with computers.

As the demand for traditional antivirus software falls, the company has been making software that have multiple layers of security, especially for businesses looking to protect themselves against increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks.

Symantec said yesterday the buyback and dividend payout would be funded through proceeds from the sale of its data storage unit Veritas, Silver Lake’s investment as well as additional debt and cash.

The company said it would halve its regular annual dividend to 30 cents per share from next quarter due to the special dividend and lower estimated domestic cash flow after the sale of Veritas.

Up to Thursday’s close of US$19.18, the Mountain View, California-based company’s stock had lost 25% in the past 12 months.

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